From Badger Herald Wiki
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., made an appearance on Library Mall to encourage students to vote early through absentee ballots Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010. Megan McCormick/The Badger Herald.
March 2, 1953
Russ Feingold is the Democratic junior United States Senator representing Wisconsin. He has gained respect from both liberals and conservatives for his defense of the Constitution. In 2001, he was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act. Feingold was elected in 1992 is finishing his third consecutive term. He faces a difficult challenge from Oshkosh-area businessman Ron Johnson to win reelection in 2010.[dated info]
Before the Senate
Feingold was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Craig High School. He then received a degree in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin. Feingold won a Rhodes Scholarship to study in Oxford, England, and received his law degree from Harvard University. 
Feingold moved to Middleton, a suburb bordering Madison, and was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly representing Middleton in 1982. As a member of the Assembly, Feingold said he was proud of his environmental record.
1992 senatorial election
In 1992, Feingold decided to run against incumbent Sen. Robert Kasten, R-Wisconsin, and faced two prominent Wisconsin figures in the Democratic primary. Feingold repeatedly called himself "the underdog" throughout the campaign and ran several humorous campaign ads, the most famous of which showed him in his modest Middleton home while he ridiculed other candidates for being "millionaires." 
Feingold defeated Kasten after a general election campaign that focused on the federal deficit and job creation after the economic downturn of the early 1990s. 
Feingold quickly became a prominent figure in Washington and authored one of the most discussed pieces of legislation in recent memory with Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona: the Feingold-McCain Act. The legislation set more regulations for campaign financing and spending which have affected the use of advertisements and donations from third parties in elections throughout the country. 
Many speculated in 2001 Feingold would challenge then-President George W. Bush instead of running for reelection to the Senate. Feingold, however, ran for and won reelection in 2004 and supported Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, in his bid to take Bush's seat. 
After Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, defeated McCain in the 2008 presidential election, Feingold began to challenge Obama's positions on issues such as the decision to add more troops to the Afghanistan war and voting against various proposals to regulate Wall Street. 
2010 Senatorial election
With mounting opposition to the economic policies of President Barack Obama and a growing amount of distrust in elected officials, Feingold faces his toughest electoral challenge in 2010[dated info], when several prominent Wisconsin Republicans lined up to challenge Feingold in the midterm election.[attribution needed]
After Middleton businessman Terrance Wall, Watertown business owner Dave Westlake and Oshkosh entrepreneur Ron Johnson entered the race, many political observers speculated former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson would run to challenge Feingold in the general election.
However, at a Tea Party rally in April 2010, Thompson told supporters he would not run for Senate. After Wall fell out of Republican favor after allegations of tax problems and beer businessman Dick Leinenkugel dropped out of the race, Johnson received the endorsement of the state's Republican Party at their convention.
Riding on a wave of anti-incumbent and anti-Democratic sentiment, Johnson began to criticize Feingold for being a Washington insider and said at a debate in Milwaukee Feingold did not live up to the maverick image he crafted throughout his Senate tenure.. Some political observers began to speculate there might be an "enthusiasm gap" in Wisconsin, which partly led to Obama visiting Library Mall for a "Moving America Forward" rally in September. 
At the rally, Feingold made an unscheduled appearance to speak along with Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett and Obama. He said, although he tries to cast himself as an independent in the Senate, he still wishes to associate himself with Obama and the Democratic Party. 
- ↑ Govtrack.us: Senate Vote On Passage: H.R. 3162 [107th]
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Herald Voting Guide: United States Senate," The Badger Herald, November 2, 1992
- ↑ "Democratic Senate hopefuls address negative campaigning at debate," The Badger Herald, August 31, 1992
- ↑ "Underdog Feingold ousts Kasten," The Badger Herald, November 4, 1992
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Times Topics: Russ Feingold, The New York Times
- ↑ "Feingold considers presidency," The Badger Herald, Sept. 11, 2001
- ↑ "Fed, Wis. elections to bring competition inside and outside parties," The Badger Herald, July 20, 2010
- ↑ "Candidate stances: U.S. Senate race," The Badger Herald, Sept. 10, 2010
- ↑ "Ron Johnson will face Feingold in Wisconsin Senate race," The Badger Herald, Sept. 14, 2010
- ↑ "Feingold goes after Johnson," The Badger Herald, Oct. 9, 2010
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "President Obama: ‘We need you to stay fired up’," The Badger Herald, Sept. 28, 2010